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Synchronize Outlook to Android

Updated on October 26, 2012

Sync Outlook with Android

Android phones are the hottest selling on the market today. But one question haunts the minds of many Android users: How do I sync Outlook with my new phone?

The answer is not as simple as it seems. You need to examine different parts of your own world to see what you need. Then compare your needs to a chart (link below) to see what software is available to meet your needs. So, let's start asking questions. You will want a pencil and paper to write down your answers as you continue.

  • Who makes your Android device? Motorola, HTC, Samsung, LG, Garmin, Acer, and Sony are just some of the manufacturers. A few of the manufacturers have their own software that will sync some Outlook items with their own Android phones. HTC makes HTC Sync. Samsung makes Kies. Garmin makes Garminfone PC Sync.
  • What Outlook items do you want to sync? Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Tasks, and Email are all possible, but what do you really need to sync? Different software syncs different items, so know what you need. The less you need synced, the more options you will have available.
  • How secure to you want the sync? There are different ways to sync so you need to know how secure you want your personal sync. Sure, every method of syncing is secure at some level, but different situations require different assurances of security. This ties directly into the next question.
  • Do you require a USB or Wireless sync? You can synchronize your Android device by connecting it directly to your PC with a USB cable, which means absolutely nobody can pry data from the sync process. But this also means data is only updated between your Android and Outlook when you take the time to connect the cable and initiate the process. You may prefer using a wireless solution to synchronize automatically on a regular basis - just set it and forget it. There are also different wireless syncs available. You can use the phone's own wireless data network to sync from anywhere or you can use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to sync when you get in proximity of your PC network.
  • Do you need to sync to an Exchange server? If you don't know what this means or you don't have an Exchange server, then just skip it. If you work for a business that has an Exchange server, your system administrator can give you the information you need to sync to the server. You will most likely want to select from a special selection of sync software dedicated to syncing your Android to an Exchange server.
  • Do you want the sync to take place automatically? It bears repeating that if you want to just set it up and never worry about syncing, then you want to use a wireless solution for automatic sync. If you don't care about automatic syncing then you have a lot of additional software options available.
  • How much do you want to pay? For many, this is where the rubber meets the road. The prices range from free to making an up front payment for the software plus monthly payments. The more the sync software does, the more you will wind up paying. Some people get upset that free sync software is not provided to them. Remember that Outlook is one of many personal information management software solutions on the market. Phone makers would find it difficult to write and maintain software that syncs with Outlook, Lotus Notes, Lotus Office, Act, Goldmine, and others. Accordingly, the Android manufacturers ask you to purchase the software that syncs your device with your choice of PIM software. For most people it is only a one time price, usually in the range of $15 to $40.
  • What version of Outlook do you use? Certain sync software only syncs with certain versions of Outlook. Most sync with Outlook 2003 onward. Some sync with Outlook back to version 97.
  • What kind of computer platform do you use? Is it a PC or a Mac? PCs have a lot more options available. Is it a laptop or desktop? If it is a laptop, then you probably have the Bluetooth wireless sync option available if you want to use it.
  • Do you mind using Google's services or not? Google has provided free services that act as a conduit between Outlook and Android devices. With them, software can sync calendars, contacts, notes and tasks. For various reasons, some people do not or are not allowed to trust their data to Google. There are twice as many options available to those who can or will use Google's services. Remember, even though Google is providing these free services, that does not mean the software utilizing them is free.
  • Do you mind separating your notes from Outlook into document files? If you can live with your notes being placed into text or Word documents stored in a specific Notes folder on your computer, then there are more free options available for syncing them. You can even place your notes in subfolders to organize them better than you ever did in Outlook. Whether you have only a dozen or even thousands of notes, there is a fairly easy procedure to follow to extract your notes. Remember, this option of syncing your notes to the Android means you will no longer enter or edit notes in Outlook, but only in the Notes folder you make on your computer.

Now that you have considered all these things, you are ready to make a decision. Because HubPages cannot conveniently host a chart of this size, you need to go to to find a chart of most available sync solutions. Take the information from the above questions and look over the chart to find the right solution for you. You might even want to print it out to highlight or scratch out certain options.

As a final warning, some people seem to have problems no matter which software they use. For them, I would suggest that the Outlook data file has been corrupted and needs to be repaired. Microsoft provides a free tool called Scanpst.exe that will repair most problems. You can search for the file on your PC and run it. Use the backup function when asked to back up the Outlook data file before repairing it. I have heard personal testimonials that running this repair tool has made the sync software work properly after it initially failed. If you need more help finding or running Scanpst.exe, you can search for "repair pst" at HubPages to get a plethora of pages offering help.


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    • Lisa M Smith profile image

      Lisa Smith 7 years ago from Coupeville, WA

      Great hub! Thanks for the information!

    • danatheteacher profile image

      Dana Rock 7 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Thank you! This has been a very confusing area for me!

    • exchangerecovery profile image

      exchangerecovery 7 years ago from India

      it's a nice information. Thanks for sharing.